An 8-year-old boy was fatally shot by a cannon at a Fourth of July celebration yesterday near Littlerock, police officials said.

Thurston County sheriff's detectives are looking for evidence at the property to piece together the event.

Chief Criminal Deputy Jim Chamberlain says the boy was at a family fireworks gathering last night when someone discharged the cannon, which was about 18 inches long with a three-inch diameter barrel.

The cannon exploded, sending pieces more than 200 feet away and the boy was hit was about 100 feet away. None of the other 15 people at the scene were hurt.

The boy was taken to St. Peter hospital in Olympia where he died. His name has not yet been released.

Chamberlain says detectives are investigating for possible criminal charges and checking whether fireworks found at the scene are legal.

Police are also trying to find out when and where the cannon was made.